Overall, my internship provided me with many new opportunities and some exciting challenges to overcome. Most notably, I faced the challenge of presenting my research from this summer at a symposium of my peers, something I had never had the chance to do before. When I found out that I would be taking part in this event, I was incredibly nervous as public speaking as never been my strong suit. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to attend conferences and symposiums on campus this summer and talk to others about their research. This gave me the chance to see what would be expected and start thinking about how to showcase my own research. Using what I had learned from these events, I began crafting my poster and an “elevator speech” to give when describing my research to attendees. Additionally, I knew that I would be given only a short amount of time to describe my research and thus needed to be mindful of time during my presentation. When the time came to present my work, I felt confident that I could represent my efforts and team well.
Through this experience, I not only learned how to prepare a presentation but also how to better communicate with others. One of the most important aspects to scientific research is effective communication. While it is important to discuss work with people in the same field, it is also equally as important to share ideas with those outside the community. I aimed to talk about my work in a sophisticated but straightforward way to those people who were not familiar with my work. What I have learned from this experience will help me not only prepare for future presentations but also in many other situations where I will need to communicate my work to others, whether that be in future research or for my career.